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Suction Strainer Research Project - Flow Test Data Collection Day
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By President Mark Davis
October 5, 2017

September 30th was the "big day" for our suction strainer flow test research project...a collaborative effort between Water Supply Innovations, LLC and GBW Associates, LLC. We tested 28 suction strainers in 35 flow tests over a period of about 7 hours at the Emergency Services Training Center location in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. From GBW Associates, LLC...Mark Davis served as project manager and Alan Butsch oversaw the physical operation of the pumper and the set-up of each strainer for testing. From Water Supply Innovations, LLC...Mike Guzy managed all logistical support and Henry Lovett collected all physical data on each strainer...including data on outlet size, hole size, and strainer dimensions. All of the work was completed without the presence of any manufacturer representative or manufacturer funding.

The Glen Gardner Fire Company provided an engine and a crew to support the project. Engine 12-2 was used: it is a 2003 Pierce pumper outfitted with a Hale Qmax 2250 gpm fire pump and is powered by a 515 hp motor. The pumper was chosen for the project because of its large body pump and big motor. We wanted "plenty of pump and motor" so that all of the suction strainers would be evaluated fairly.

Prior to the start of the individual tests, all pressure gauges and flow measurement devices were tested and confirmed for calibration. The key to successful research is knowing the controls and the variables. For this project the controls were as follows: the pumper, the discharge hose layout, the suction hose layout, the lift, and the depth at which the strainers were placed in the water. Thus, the only variable was the strainer in use at the time of each test. Elevation at the test site was 360.8 feet.

Strainer types that were tested included barrel, basket, box, floating, and low level. One ice strainer was also tested. Manufacturers represented in the project are Fol-Da-Tank, TFT, Firovac, Kochek, Ziamatic, Harrington, Akron, Elkhart, Red Head, Powhaten, American La France, plus a few unknowns. After flow testing on the suction strainers was complete, tests were conducted on three suction elbows and the use of the front suction inlet on the Glen Gardner pumper.

Currently, we are reviewing all of the data that was collected with plans to release an "official" looking written report sometime around December 1, 2017. Until then, we have some video clips and photos to share.

Many thanks go out to everyone who helped during test day and to those who helped fund the project through our GoFundMe program.

Work was done at the Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center in Annandale, NJ. The facility provided everything we needed to complete the testing.
Work was done at the Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center in Annandale, NJ. The facility provided everything we needed to complete the testing.
Glen Gardner Engine 12-2 got a great a workout!
Glen Gardner Engine 12-2 got a great a workout!
 
One requirement to participate in the research project was to have a pumper with recent service  test credentials.
One requirement to participate in the research project was to have a pumper with recent service test credentials.
Engine 12-2 came with all of the credentials...including a very capable crew.
Engine 12-2 came with all of the credentials...including a very capable crew.
 
One control was the depth to which each strainer was placed. Twenty-five inches was the chosen depth...enough to cover the strainer but not sped deep.
One control was the depth to which each strainer was placed. Twenty-five inches was the chosen depth...enough to cover the strainer but not sped deep.
Calibrated and event day verified test gauges were used to record pump instate and discharge pressures as well as the pressures at the flow measurement devices.
Calibrated and event day verified test gauges were used to record pump instate and discharge pressures as well as the pressures at the flow measurement devices.
 
This station was critical to the test...the strainer physical data collection station where measurements were taken on all physical features of each strainer.
This station was critical to the test...the strainer physical data collection station where measurements were taken on all physical features of each strainer.
A portable monitor was fed by dual, 3-inch hose lines 50-feet in length each. The device was one of two flow measurement devices used. A 1-3/4-inch tip was used on the monitor.
A portable monitor was fed by dual, 3-inch hose lines 50-feet in length each. The device was one of two flow measurement devices used. A 1-3/4-inch tip was used on the monitor.
 
The Hale 2250 gpm QMax pump on this pumper was capable of taking in 1800 gpm using the suction hose arrangement...which was 20-feet of 6-inch lightweight suction hose.
The Hale 2250 gpm QMax pump on this pumper was capable of taking in 1800 gpm using the suction hose arrangement...which was 20-feet of 6-inch lightweight suction hose.
The results of the low level tests. Left to right ...lowest to highest flows. The two on the right were truly top performers at or very near 1800 gpm.
The results of the low level tests. Left to right ...lowest to highest flows. The two on the right were truly top performers at or very near 1800 gpm.
 
Floating strainers were all tested using the same 20-ft fixed length of suction hose.
Floating strainers were all tested using the same 20-ft fixed length of suction hose.
A 2-1/2-inch Hose Monster flow diffuser with fixed pitot was used as the primary flow measurement device. It was supplied using 50-feet of 4-inch supply hose.
A 2-1/2-inch Hose Monster flow diffuser with fixed pitot was used as the primary flow measurement device. It was supplied using 50-feet of 4-inch supply hose.
 
Another floating strainer being tested.
Another floating strainer being tested.
The test area.
The test area.
 
Alan Butsch was responsible for overseeing pump  operations and strainer deployment.
Alan Butsch was responsible for overseeing pump operations and strainer deployment.
Another floating strainer being tested.
Another floating strainer being tested.
 
The HoseMonster could record up to 1500 gpm if needed...although flow was distributed between the two devices as much as possible.
The HoseMonster could record up to 1500 gpm if needed...although flow was distributed between the two devices as much as possible.
Test results were recorded when 150 psi net pump pressure was reached or no more flow could be achieved.
Test results were recorded when 150 psi net pump pressure was reached or no more flow could be achieved.
 
The ice strainer was capable of a 1500 gpm flow given our test parameters.
The ice strainer was capable of a 1500 gpm flow given our test parameters.
Each strainer was tested for its maximum flow ability using the controls noted previously.
Each strainer was tested for its maximum flow ability using the controls noted previously.
 
2-1/2-inch gate valves were used on the 2-1/2-inch discharges so that pressure could be controlled more precisely in the effort to reach 150 psi NPP.  (Photo by M. Guzy)
2-1/2-inch gate valves were used on the 2-1/2-inch discharges so that pressure could be controlled more precisely in the effort to reach 150 psi NPP. (Photo by M. Guzy)
 
Lined up and ready for testing at 0830 hrs. (Photo by M. Guzy)
Lined up and ready for testing at 0830 hrs. (Photo by M. Guzy)
Making it happen!   (Photo by M. Guzy)
Making it happen! (Photo by M. Guzy)
 
Andy Soccodata (center) documented all 35 flow tests using the data collection sheet.  (Photo by M. Guzy)
Andy Soccodata (center) documented all 35 flow tests using the data collection sheet. (Photo by M. Guzy)
A photo was taken to document the gauge readings for each test. (Photo by M. Guzy)
A photo was taken to document the gauge readings for each test. (Photo by M. Guzy)
 
Discussing the finer points of some water supply issue... (Photo by M. Guzy)
Discussing the finer points of some water supply issue... (Photo by M. Guzy)
Andy - being precise about his work! (Photo by M. Guzy)
Andy - being precise about his work! (Photo by M. Guzy)
 
Big water! (Photo by M. Guzy)
Big water! (Photo by M. Guzy)
Engine 12-2's crew were professional equipment managers specializing in rapid strainer attachment, deployment, and replacement. We could not have done the work without them! (Photo by M. Guzy)
Engine 12-2's crew were professional equipment managers specializing in rapid strainer attachment, deployment, and replacement. We could not have done the work without them! (Photo by M. Guzy)
 
More intensity at the data recordation table. (Photo by M. Guzy)
More intensity at the data recordation table. (Photo by M. Guzy)
Photo by M. Guzy.
Photo by M. Guzy.
 
The prep area. (Photo by M. Guzy)
The prep area. (Photo by M. Guzy)
The official data collecti
The official data collecti
 
























 
 

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